Remarks by H.E. LEE Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea, on the occasion of the G8 Extended Summit in Toyako
July 09, 2008
His Excellency Yasuo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan,
Climate change is indeed a daunting challenge that could threaten our very existence but it has also allowed us to remind ourselves that we, as a global community living on planet earth, share a common destiny.
I am deeply impressed by the vision set forth by Prime Minister Fukuda on ways to tackle climate change.
The strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, investment for cutting-edge technologies, support for developing countries and above all, the resource-saving lifestyle – these are all good examples that will lead us to realize our new paradigm of a low-carbon society.
We, the 16 major economies, must work closely together to bring about such changes. Korea will actively participate in the efforts. We will vigorously support the long-term goal of cutting in half global greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. Korea is also in the process of building national consensus and hopefully we will be ready to announce our mid-term mitigation goal for 2020 sometime next year.
We are gathering our collective wisdom so that we can transform the climate crisis facing our planet into an opportunity.
Indeed, development of technologies for greenhouse gas mitigation will create new markets and provide jobs, becoming new drivers of economic growth. It will also enable energy-importing countries such as Korea to attain secure and stable sources of energy. For this purpose, my government is formulating a national strategy on climate change that includes increasing investment in renewable energy.
In my country, people call me an "early bird" for convening early morning meetings, which is the reason I receive complaints from my staff. However, when it comes to climate change and energy issues, my aim is to make Korea an "early mover."
Honorable Prime Minister and colleagues,
I believe that the keys to a successful design of a post-2012 global climate regime are the provision of clear mid-term reduction goals by developed countries and the introduction of incentive schemes that will encourage the participation of developing countries. By recognizing carbon credits for verifiable mitigation actions made by developing countries, the economic viability of investments for climate actions will be improved and eventually the market will drive mitigation actions in developing countries.
This will enable developing countries to pursue "green growth" and move toward a "low-carbon society."
Climate change is definitely a challenge for the fast-growing East Asian countries.
To meet this common challenge, I would like to launch the "East Asia Climate Partnership."
This partnership aims to harmonize economic growth with mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions. The partnership amounting to 200 million USD will be comprised of policy consultations, technology innovation, financial support and pilot projects.
In the face of the global challenge of climate change, Korea aims to faithfully play a bridging role between developed and developing countries.